Saturday, November 7, 2015

Predators Fall Flat Agaisnt the Blues 4-0

After a successful road trip, the Nashville Predators returned to Bridgestone Arena and promptly fell flat on their face in a 4-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues.

Although the Predators out shot the Blues 45-28, Blues netminder Jake Allen was rarely called upon to make quality saves.

Pekka Rinne, however, was under assault, as the Blues scored 2 power play goals and then added an even strength goal from former Predator Scottie Upshall and a final goal from Alex Steen to round out the scoring.

Colton Parayko opened the scoring as the Blues moved the puck well on the power play and he was left all alone on the right side of the ice inside the face off dot. His blast beat Rinne to give the Blues a 1-0 lead.

That lead held up until the third period when the Blues erupted for 3 goals. Alex Pietrangelo tallied on the power play to give the Blues a 2-0 lead before Upshall emptied the arena with his marker. Steen added the icing to the cake with his 8th goal of the season to make it 4-0 and seal the win.

Some observations:

  • The Predators continued their uncharacteristically undisciplined played by taking 6 penalties. As in their previous game against the Wild, the Predators PK gave up 2 goals with the opponent on the power play. Continuing to put a man in the box is going to be trouble for the Predators as the pressure on the penalty killers against good teams is tempting fate. The Predators survived the Wild, but good teams are going to capitalize om the power play. Tonight, it cost the Predators.
  • Once again, the Predators were horrific in the face off dot, winning only 22 of 57 draws. Puck possession is critical, and the Predators have been woeful in winning draws, especially in the offensive zone. The Predators are going to have to improve quickly in this area. 
  • On the other side, the Predators Were ice cold with the man advantage. They were 0-5, including 1:46 of a 5 on 3. The power play has got to get going for the Predators to be successful,  and tonight, they were impotent.
  • Colin Wilson, among others, has to get his game going. Tonight, he had 1 SOG, and he has too much talent to be as invisible as he is in recent games.
  • The same can be said for Craig Smith. A non-factor in recent games.
  • The Predators hung Rinne out to dry on the two power play goals. The first goal by Parayko saw all the Predators defenders on one side of the ice, leaving parayko alone to receive the pass and one time the puck past Rinne.
  • The Predators are 0-2-2 when allowing the first goal. They are 0-2-1 when trailing after two periods.
  • The Predators were shut out for the first time this season.
The Predators started a 5 game home stand with a thud. It is easy to say they ran into a hot and very good goalie (they did), but they rarely challenged Allen to make quality saves.

The Predators are going to have to figure out how to play against a quality divisional opponent in the Blues. tonight, they showed they can get shots on the net but every mistake they made wound up in the back of their net. The Predators were found wanting against a quality opponent that they will have to defeat to win their first divsional title.

Learn from this and move on.

My three stars:

1. Jake Allen

2. Colton Parayko

3. Alexander Steen

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